Music: Carl Orff
’s Carmina Burana
and Quattro Cantiones Profanae
(anonymous), orchestrated by Jordi Bernàcer
Concept, Choreography, Sets, Costumes, Lighting and Video Projection by Shen Wei
Conductor: Jordi Bernàcer
Ballet Company Director of the Teatro di San Carlo: Alessandra Panzavolta
World premiere: 21 July 2013, Teatro di San Carlo, Naples
The oldest opera house in Italy, the Teatro di San Carlo
, now recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is a symbol of Naples. This theatre has staged – to great acclaim – the operas of all the greatest composers of opera’s Golden Age – Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Mercadante and Verdi. In the late 19th
and early 20th
centuries, the San Carlo witnessed the triumphs of Puccini’s operas and works of the “new school” consisting of composers including Pietro Mascagni and others who were born or who studied in Naples – among them Ruggero Leoncavallo, Umberto Giordano, Francesco Cilea and Franco Alfano. A staggering contribution to the development of the genre of Italian lyrical melodrama, later to become the calling card of the San Carlo, was made by composers including Arthur Honegger, Claude Debussy, Arrigo Boito, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Riccardo Zandonai and Ildebrando Pizzetti. Today, the San Carlo jealously guards its customs and introduces audiences all over the globe to the culture of Italy and the traditions of Naples.
The Teatro di San Carlo has made equally great contributions to the world of ballet. The names of many illustrious choreographers are linked with the history of its ballet company, among them Salvatore Viganò, Charles Le Picq, Gaetano Gioja, Antonio Guerra and Carlo Blasis. Dancer who brought glory to the San Carlo include Amelia Brugnoli, Fanny Cerrito, Fanny Elssler, Marie Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi and Elisa Vaque-Moulin. In the late 19th
and early 20th
centuries, the ballet company of the Teatro di San Carlo experienced the changing tastes of society and overcame the aesthetic crisis of Romanticism without seeking its own identity, instead trusting in “heavy-weight” audience favourites by Pietro Micca and Luigi Manzotti (such as Excelsior
). After World War II, the ballet company of the Teatro San Carlo gradually won international acclaim, inviting dazzling stars to join its ranks, among them Margot Fonteyn, Carla Fracci, Ekaterina Maximova, Rudolf Nureyev and Vladimir Vasiliev who choreographed many of the productions. In more recent years, Roland Petit made his own serious contribution to the company’s development: his Die Fledermaus
and Duke Ellington Ballet
now adorn the pages of the ballet’s history book.
One of the premier international dance companies, Shen Wei Dance Arts
has won worldwide acclaim for its interdisciplinary cross-cultural performances, which have been described as “breathtaking, powerful, and riveting” (The Boston Globe
Transcending East and West, Shen Wei Dance Arts fuses contemporary modern dance, calligraphic gesture, painting, and the ritual power of ancient drama to forge a startlingly new hybrid form of dance and movement-based spectacle. Since its founding, the Company has performed in 138 cities in 28 countries on five continents and has appeared at prestigious festivals and venues worldwide such as: Jacob’s Pillow, the Los Angeles Music Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington, Sadler’s Wells, the Barbican Centre, Het Muziektheater, the Spoleto Festival, the American Dance Festival, Venice Biennale, the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Berliner Festpiele and the Sydney Festival.
Shen Wei Dance Arts has received high praise for its site-specific creations for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Charles Engelhard Court in New York City, Collezione Maramotti Gallery in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Park Avenue Armory Park.